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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for August 7

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Thursday, August 7

Race 1:  Steeplechase
Race 2:  #1 Star Grazing is still lightly raced, but she's shown potential from the start, and her win off the layoff at Belmont was a nice effort over a talented stablemate of hers who came right back to drill a field up here with a 93 TimeformUS Speed Figure.  
Has to stretch out, but she's a half to Friend or Foe, who won the Empire Classic over this distance a few years ago and then ran fourth in the Whitney.  #5 Devious Maddy is the fastest horse to this point and has improved some with the switch to dirt for Leah Gyarmati.  She has tactical speed and is a threat to Star Grazing.  
Selections:  1-5-4-2
Race 3:  Surprised #6 Thirst for Glory doesn't get another chance on dirt, as he ran very well in his debut.  That was a very "live" looking maiden race, and Thirst for Glory was hung up on a four-wide chase.  He has enough pedigree to handle the grass and faces mostly first-time starters.  #3 Brother O'Connell is the most dangerous of those, as his trainer excels with runners debuting in turf routes (100 rating), and he has the pedigree (95 rating).  Chad Brown also does well with first-time starters routing on turf, especially at Saratoga, and he has both #7 Chief Kitten and #8 Startup Nation, both of whom are also sporting strong pedigree ratings for turf routes.  
Selections:  6-3-8-7
Race 4:  No idea what to expect as a group of six goes 1 3/4 miles for $100k, but #5 Micromanage feels like the best horse in the race.  He may not be the best horse over this kind of trip, and we did think that the 1 1/2 miles did him in on Belmont Stakes Day, but that was against a much better field.  If he can't see out the trip, it's wide open and both #3 Seton Hall, who has handled dirt, and #4 Don Dulce become bigger players.
Selections:  5-3-4-1
Race 5:  #1 Miss Motivation made a good run from off the pace to be a clear 2nd behind a front-running winner two starts back, and she had to check at a crucial stage and was wired again last time.  Up in claiming price, but facing fellow NY-breds for the first time today.  #5 The Lady's Cruisen stretches out and drops in class for her third career start, and she goes for connections that are on a bit of a roll right now.  #3 Transplendid has run some races that would make her tough in here, but she has continually come up short and had no real excuse last time when closing in a race dominated by off-the-pace types.  
Selections:  1-5-3-6
Race 6:  #1 Q Two got away soft on the lead vs. just 4 others to break his maiden on the drop, but he's got the upside vs. a group of horses who have made at least 10 starts already.  He's the only horse in the field with a win around two turns on dirt outside of #4 Golden Nugget (win came at Finger Lakes, and he's devoid of speed) and #6 Sky Colors (his win came over two years ago).  #7 Chrisandlorisposse has used his speed to positive effect before, and he may benefit from the class relief here after going badly off form recently.  
Selections:  1-7-5-6
Race 7:  #4 Manner of Speaking must be ready off the layoff, but she drops in class after a pair of decent efforts vs. much tougher as a 2yo, and she will have Lasix for the first time today.  
#7 Tenacious Indeed also drops in class, and it appears to be something she needs after a pair of tries vs better in which she simply couldn't contend late.  #6 Fire Ship and #9 Make Your Point both exit the 6th race from July 21, when 3rd and 4th behind #10 Kevin's Steel.  Thought Fire Ship was the most eligible to do best of those three, as she lost some position while in traffic before finishing gamely, while the other two had perfect trips. 
Selections:  4-7-6-10
Race 8:  #4 Defiant took no prisoners en route to a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure blowout of MTH sprinters when cut back off of a short break.  There is other speed in this race, but they may not be able to go with this horse early, assuming he can put up a similar performance.  #2 Bluegrass Springs may find this 5.5-furlong distance a little sharp, but he handles 6 furlongs well downstate and will be a late threat if a fast pace develops.  #9 Casa Creek improved when cut back to race over synthetic two starts back, and he endured much trouble early when finishing behind Bluegrass Springs last time.
Selections:  4-2-9-5
Race 9:   #1 Ghurair gets a cut back and a class drop, both of which are expected to make him tough today.  He rolled over allowance foes two back despite a lack of pace up front that day.  
#3 Red Rifle has run well in both turf starts to date, and he projects for a comfortable trip up on what is expected to be a moderate pace.  #2 Marine Patrol has been consistently solid over turf and may turn out to be a nice claim for his new connections.  Thought #5 Lochte ran well while trying to close from behind Red Rifle two starts back, but he was a non-factor when stepped back up last time.  
Selections:  1-3-2-5
Race 10:  We tried #5 Barrier to Entry last time and thought she ran well despite tiring after making a quick early pace. She also found a much tougher field that day, and can be tougher vs. this group if bringing her speed once again.  #11 Home to Carrowkeel figures to be a bit of a wiseguy horse in this spot after an adventurous debut downstate, but she did run well despite much trouble that day.  #9 Given Fire endured a very tough trip over this course and distance way back in 2012, and she went away for a long time after making only one more start.  Has had a race off the layoff, and she was contesting the pace that day in a race that fell to closers.
Selections:  5-11-9-3



TimeformUS Analysis for August 6

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Wednesday, August 6
Race 1:  Steeplechase
Race 2:  Questions abound with #5 Moonluck, who returns from the layoff with a $20k tag attached.  He flashed plenty of potential through two starts toward the end of 2013, including his last start, when he endured a tough wide trip against the inside-speed bias while chasing the talented Bakken.  If he has anything left, he's a likely winner.  
#7 Yankee Dime has speed on a drop of his own, and his recency could be a big advantage.  
Selections:  5-7-8-4
Race 3:  Group of seven older horses has mostly disappointed lately.  We're going to tepidly take #7 Conspiracy on top as he drops in class off the trainer change to Bruce Brown. He is a prior winner over this track and trip.  #6 Cease has started to show signs of decline lately, and will drop down to the lowest level of his career as he returns on short rest.  We could make some excuses for his recent races if we wanted to (wet tracks, had to steady hard on the backstretch at MTH, in behind horses two back), but he's becoming difficult to defend.  #5 Sacred Ground exits an inexcusable loss last time, but he is off the re-claim by an underrated trainer who has gotten the best out of him in the past.
Selections:  7-6-5-2
Race 4:  #7 Jet Alley debuts for Mike Trombetta, who gets a perfect 100 trainer rating with runners debuting in maiden claiming company.  Good enough for us.  #4 Thirtysilverpieces found an awfully tough spot for his debut and was unable to get involved.  Should find this company more to his liking.  #5 King Thief is a half to a pair of multiple winners, and #2 Radamel has speed on both sides of his pedigree and debuts for a trainer who saddled a winner here last week.
Selections:  7-4-5-2
Race 5:  #4 Quay didn't get much pace last time, but still closed gamely to just miss nailing front-running #5 Aquinnah.  We have always thought highly of her, and she should have a better set-up this time, assuming the field stays intact.  
#1 Spun Silky was also badly compromised behind Aquinnah last time, and she has a race to get to that would make her tough.  #11 Subtle was sharp in a pair of victories up here last summer, and was back on the beam at MTH last time when wiring a field under confident handling.  
Selections:  4-1-11-5
Race 6:  #5 Zo Zo endured early trouble in her debut downstate and had no impact late behind #1 Razia Sultana.  Trainer gets perfect 100 rating with second-time starters and is an incredible 7 for his last 9 with 2yos making their second career start at Saratoga. Razia Sultana can also do better with that debut experience behind her, and she was game to get second in that race despite being pinned down on the inside through the stretch.  #9 Always Sarah is one to keep an eye on for later, as her pedigree suggests longer will be better.  She is a half-sister to both Organizer and Dr. V's Magic, both of whom won the Empire Classic over nine furlongs.  
Selections:  5-1-6-4
Race 7:  While recognizing that all of #1 Precarious, #3 Lawn Party and #4 Satisfaction are contenders (they're three of the shorter prices on the ML), we aren't thrilled with any of them, especially if they're among the favorites come post time.  #11 Kitten's Queen had some traffic issues two back behind Keening, who ran very well to be 2nd up here last weekend, before finishing gamely behind the impressive Crown Queen last time.  #7 More Than Less impressed in breaking her maiden first time out despite a less-than-perfect trip, but hasn't found the easiest N1x field today.
Selections:  11-1-3-7
Race 8:  #9 Helm has tried turf only once, and that came sprinting off of a layoff, but he ran well that day, so there are no concerns with the surface.  Comes here directly from impressive demolition of Presque Isle allowance foes and projects for a good trip away from what may turn out to be a contested early pace.  #1 Middleburg was a very unlucky loser two starts back, and was denied by a promising Deep Speed after a perfect trip last time.  Has a good inside post and is the horse to beat.  #5 Battle Force took a spin around the track up here opening weekend in his return from a long layoff.  Has back form that makes him very tough if he's ready to step it up.
Selections:  9-1-5-6
Race 9:  #1 Tricky Hat handles distance and projects for the right trip from his inside post over a course he has handled in the past.  Needs to bounce back from dismal showing last time, but fits well here if he does.  #8 Winning Cause finished gamely to just miss 3rd while rallying through traffic in the stretch vs. Grade 1 company last time. Distance may be pushing it for him, but this is a much easier spot.  #9 Grand Rapport is back in good form and finished well to close the gap on a front-running winner over this distance last time. 
Selections:  1-8-9-10
Race 10:  #3 Island Therapy took back and finished gamely when switched to turf two starts back, and then was denied his best chance with his rider electing to stay inside for the stretch run up here last time.  #6 Blue Chips Only stretches out while dropping in class, and projects to be in clear control of the early pace.  Trainer excels when adding blinkers for the first time (100 rating).  
#2 Sole Train gets a needed class drop for this, and #9 Copper Core has missed narrowly at this level twice recently, and also adds blinkers for this.
Selections:  3-6-2-9

TimeformUS Analysis for August 4

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Saratoga Racing on Monday August 4th
Race 1:  #3 Do a Legger has been at his best when aggressively ridden, with all four career wins coming in either pace-setting or pace-pressing fashion.  With Pace Projector favoring runners either on or near the early lead in this race, we think he can be extra tough in this field if using his speed as a weapon.  
#7 Onecats Chance is the ML favorite on the strength of his last two efforts, which are both quite good, but he is without early speed, and Do a Legger's last race is faster.  Rider change is sure to attract some attention, but his previous jockey did nothing wrong, and Onecats Chance appeared to hang badly at the end of his last start after catching a solid pace to close into.  
Selections:  3-7-4-6
Race 2:  #5 Mineral Water was cut back to a better distance and returned to the proper surface last time, but was unfortunate to wind up chasing a pair of favorites over a track carrying speed.  The 78 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned in his second career start makes him one of the fastest horses in the race, and his form is completely dirtied up by a series of races at the wrong distance or over the wrong surface. #6 Greg's Intuition is a wild card, as he has faced better in NY and is getting a class drop and a change to a barn off to a good start at the meet.  Trio of interesting first-time starters is entered, # 4 Party On, #7 Kindred Irish, and #8 Royalty Reigns, all for trainers who can win first time out.  #3 King Gettigan and #9 Hampden Fiveone are contenders but are running out of chances quickly, if they haven't used them up already.
Selections:  5-6-4-7
Race 3:  #4 Mental Iceberg made a promising debut toward the end of 2013, closing strongly from off the pace to upset maidens at a big price.  He didn't return to grass until his last two starts, and he got the wrong ride, being wrangled back off of a slow pace, on April 25th and was then no match for the talented Storm last time.  #7 Mark My Way is quite simply the horse to beat for Linda Rice based on his turf form.  #5 Free Mugatu came close but was only second-best to Mark My Way in his lone turf start to date.  
Selections:  4-7-5-6
Race 4:  Wide-open maiden race for NY-breds may simply come down to who sees out the 9 furlongs.  We thought that #3 Iced Over made a promising turf debut in Kentucky despite enduring a very tough trip and think he may be the best price of the runners we are interested in.  #4 Dreamboat and #8 Spun Hard also took the worst of it based on their trips in their first starts and are eligible to run much better without trouble.  #5 Blue Shark is the ML favorite, which turned us off, but he's also a major player as he makes his 3yo debut for a tag. 
Selections:  3-5-4-8
Race 5:  Two back, #7 Frazil contested the pace all the way in a race that fell to closers, and he was completely eliminated from contention by a spill up here opening weekend.
Drops a notch for a trainer who gets a 92 rating with claimers down in class, and Pace Projector favors runners up close in this race.  May have most to fear from new face #4 Back Forty, who is dropping in class for his NY debut.  
Selections:  7-4-5-6
Race 6:  #6 Old Harbor has improved rapidly since being switched to turf, and she convincingly defeated several of these downstate after a perfect trip.  Has to stretch out a bit farther and travel around two turns, but she is the horse to beat.  #3 Funky Munky Fever finished strongly from far back to be a no-threat 2nd to Old Harbor on June 22nd, and she was badly compromised by a slow pace last time.  Possesses a potent late kick, and Pace Projector indicates that she will have a fast pace to close into this time.  Her stablemate #5 Lady Kreesa has flashed ability while racing greenly through her first three career starts, so she may benefit from today's addition of blinkers. 
Selections:  3-6-5-9
Race 7:  #9 Thundering Gale has run well in all three turf sprints to date while coming up short each time.  Expecting her to find a little more for her new connections.  #7 Scribbling Sarah was put away off the claim by Linda Rice at the end of last year and returns sprinting on the grass, where she is at her best.  She endured tough trips three and four starts back after breaking her maiden here last summer. #1 Rumble Doll will make only her second start on turf today, and will do so for a tag and over a sprint distance, both of which figure to help.  Not surprised she's getting another chance on grass considering her pedigree.
Selections:  9-7-1-3
Race 8:  #5 Double the Energy wired several of these under similar conditions back in June, and is perhaps in position to do so again, but with #9 Lady Luciano entered this time (and assuming she in fact runs), the pace scenario could well be different this time. Should that be the case, we like the chances of #2 Unbelievable Dream to get revenge, as she was badly hampered when blocked in the stretch last time, and fell just short.  
#8 Frosty Bay has competitive turf form to get to, and has been wired in each of her two starts this year.  #1 Dreaming of Cara is just 1-for-19 on grass, and she always seems to find trouble in her races, but she also always makes our tickets, and is usually a square price.
Selections:  2-8-1-5
Race 9:  #4 Cast a Doubt has run better than it may appear since arriving in NY, and should be tough with this class drop.  Think he'll appreciate getting back to fast dirt, and he has the speed to get in the game early, which Pace Projector indicates would be to his advantage.  #11 Sense of Peace can also take advantage of that race shape.  He has his issues, but is a quality speed racing at the right level.  #3 Lucci the Lion is competitive at this level, but his new trainer does much better after getting to work with his new acquisitions for a while (only a 69 trainer rating first off the claim, as opposed to an overall rating of 89).  
Selections: 4-11-3-7

TimeformUS Analysis Sunday Aug 3

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Saratoga Racing on Sunday Aug 3

Race 1:  2yos kick off the Pick 5, and are led by the Pletcher pair of #3 Kinsley and #5 Feathered, both of whom brought $300k at auction.  Feathered was recently purchased, at OBS March, after blitzing a furlong in 10 seconds flat.  Since Todd tends to send them out ready, we'll expect them both to perform, but will give preference to Feathered.  #1 Harbouring is a half-sister to the fast stakes-winning sprinter Star Harbour, who has won 8 times in his career while earning over $400k.  Her trainer is among the best in the game, but he tends not to have them cranked up right away.
Selections:  5-3-7-1
Race 2:  #4 Summer Breezing has never been this short, but he is fast and has been at his best sprinting for Christophe Clement.  We think this shorter trip may really suit his speedy style, and he is racing at the right level.  
#3 Escapist didn't have his best chance here last week when unable to get forward position, ultimately having to steady hard on the backstretch.  Has dangerous speed and is eligible to bounce back.  #7 Partly Mocha is a rock-solid turf sprinter at anywhere from 5.5 to 7 furlongs and is a major threat to the top two, especially if they hook up early.
Selections:  4-3-7-2
Race 3:  Short field of six older maidens entered here, including another Pletcher duo.  Since Todd isn't nearly as potent with his older first-time starters at Saratoga as he is with his 2yos (he's 0 for his last 16 with older runners), we'll go to the logical horse to beat in #4 Flat Jack.  Flat Jack earned a solid 97 TimeformUS Speed Figure for his game runner-up effort last out, and he is going to be very tough to beat if able to come right back with a similar effort.
Selections:  4-2-3-6



Race 4:  Engaging rivalry between #6 Lubash and #7 Kharafa may continue in this stakes-quality allowance for NY-breds.  Kharafa also holds an entry into the Lure stakes on Saturday, so we may not see him in this spot, but he is perhaps the horse to beat if he decides to await this spot.  Either way, Lubash will be difficult to down after extricating himself from some stretch traffic last time and then rolling over the likes of #2 Notacatbutallama and #10 Barrel of Love.
Selections:  7-6-10-2
Race 5:  Not going to be easy to take a stand against #3 South Sound, who holds all of the fast races for a sharp trainer and appears to be a likely single for many in this Pick 5.
For a backup, #7 Little Gidding is lightly raced and dropping in class, and she has won her only start vs. claiming company to date.  #5 Mononoke has speed, and has run a couple of recent figures that put her within hailing distance of South Sound, but if she's a main contender, that just makes the favorite's position that much stronger. 
Selections:  3-7-5-3
Race 6:  Wide-open $50k claimer on the grass is expected to feature a fast pace, and there is no shortage of interesting closers to choose from.  #7 Redact was unable to threaten front-running Golden Rifle when making his stateside debut off the layoff, but raced on gamely in a performance that he can certainly build upon here.  He also has the advantage of being a new face to this crew.  We're interested (as usual) in #6 Unbridled Logic, as he has been badly compromised by slow paces recently, and never more so than last time, when winner Glowing Ember walked on an uncontested lead.  #5 Dream Man will also benefit from contested fractions, and he's getting the biggest class drop of all in this field.   
Selections:  7-6-5-2
Race 7:  Bill Mott tends not to have his babies cranked up first time out, but they're generally better second time, and #1 Militsa flashed speed in a strong field in her debut.  #3 No Shanks debuts for a very sharp trainer, and she is a half to 9-time winner Shankopotomus, who was a winner here earlier in the meet.  #4 Ex Wives is a half to the fast Deadly Dealer, who earned over $300k on the track and was best sprinting on dirt.  #6 Condo Commando is from a dam who was a multiple Grade 2 winner on the track and whose first three foals are all winners.  
Selections:  1-3-4-6
Race 8:  #3 Where's Danny has been in career-best form since coming back to grass back in April, and he ran a deceptively good race while trying to come wide into a slow pace in a super-tough $50k claimer here opening weekend.  
#8 Cheyenne Nation is the horse to beat as he drops in class, but he's vulnerable based upon his 2014 form to this point.  #10 Cage Fighter is the ML favorite on the class drop for connections that look to win races up here, and he was compromised when trying to close into a slow pace last time.
Selections:  3-8-10-1
Race 9:  Wide-open running of the Waya offers an opportunity to price hunt.  With that in mind, #6 Levanto was a two-time winner over 1 1/2 miles in Ireland, and rated as a promising horse by Timeform over there despite bombing on more than one occasion.  Went to the lead and stopped in her stateside debut, but the margin is somewhat deceiving with her rider wrapping up approaching the stretch, and it's noteworthy that she has managed to rebound from poor efforts in the past.  #7 Fitful Skies and #8 Inimitable Romanee are the horses to beat, as they are most accomplished to this point and have no distance concerns.  #13 Cat's Claw must draw in, but she has relished distance and is highly progressive.
Selections:  6-7-8-13
Race 10:  No one to trust in maiden claiming finale, so we will look to a new face in #8 Town Leader.  Clement excels with runners debuting in turf routes (100 rating), and based on the form showing from her competition, she needn't be that much to contend.  #5 Rachel's Temper returns for her 3yo debut with a needed class drop.  She did her best in some tougher spots last year, but simply wasn't good enough, and this class drop should suit her.  #7 Costenia drops for Pletcher, and she has some speed, but there is no shortage of that in this field.  #2 Shaikha enters off of the best last race, but is piling up the chances.  
Selections:  8-5-2-7